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Cherry Hill Plumbing: Article About Sewer and Septic Guide

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Whether or not you are willing to acknowledge it, your sewer or septic system is a key component of your household, taking care of the dirty work with silent diligence. Find out the basics of how your home's waste disposal system works so you can identify emergent issues. If a problem with your sewer or septic comes up, call in the expert assistance of your Cherry Hill plumbing professionals.

Your home plumbing consists of three subsystems. One is your fresh water supply that flows from a water main outside your home. Another is the venting system that prevents vacuums from impeding the free flow of your waste pipes. The waste disposal system transports gray and black water from your sinks and toilets to your sewer or septic tank.

Homes that are not located near a municipal sewer system use septic systems for waste disposal. The septic tank is a large concrete or steel receptacle buried near your house. The storage capacity of the tank depends on the size of your home and the number of bathrooms you have. Water from your waste pipes flows into the tank at one end and out at the other end. Solids waste that is heavier than water sinks to the bottom of the tank and forms the sludge layer. Floating material rises to the top of the tank to form a scum layer. Between the scum and the sludge layers, clear water flows.

A plumber from Filan & Conner of Cherry Hill NJ would be happy to answer any questions you have about water heater repairs or drain issues.

Each time new wastewater enters the tank from your home, it pushes water into your septic drain field, located nearby. The drain field consists of a subterranean network of perforated pipes set in trenches atop a layer of gravel. As water flows through the drainpipes, it gradually seeps out and drains through the gravel layer into the earth. This passive system is powered solely by gravity.

If you are connected to a sewer, your waste flows from your home into a sewer pipe, joining that of other residents and flowing into sewer mains that are often located under city streets. The mains combine their effluent with that from other mains into a progression of increasingly larger pipes toward a sewage treatment plant. A plant is typically built at a low point to take advantage of gravity drainage, and lift stations along the route provide the machinery that to boost the flow of wastewater uphill where needed.

At the treatment plant, the material enters a primary treatment tank where filters separate it into sludge, water and scum; workers then transfer sludge solids to disposal sites. Primary treatment rids the wastewater of approximately 50 percent of its solids and bacterial content. During the secondary treatment phase, the water moves to aerated tanks where bacteria consume as much sewage as possible. At the completion of this phase, the water is clear of about 90 percent of contaminants.

In the third treatment stage, chemicals eradicate the remaining phosphorous and nitrogen content. In some treatment plants, the water passes through filter beds or undergoes other types of treatment. The addition of chlorine completes the treatment, and water moves to the discharge pipes.

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